Considering an Addition to Your Home? Where to Start
If you’re thinking of adding space to your existing home, you probably have a particular need in mind but are still fuzzy on the details. At M&K Renovations, we’ve helped hundreds of families on the Main Line and in Bucks County expand their homes in so many different ways. Here are the steps you should take to think through what you want, where you want it, and how to get it done.
Ask yourself key questions
First, you’ll need to nail down why you want an addition. Sometimes it’s just a nagging feeling of being cramped. As you’re going through your home routine, become aware of what bothers you: Is the kitchen too small? Do you feel like the kids don’t have room to spread out and grow? Are friends and family on top of each other when they come to visit? Is mud being tracked into the house by kids or pets, making it hard to keep clean?
Other times you know what you want: a master bedroom and bath; an entertainment center with big tv, pool table, etc.; a dressing/relaxing room adjacent to your outdoor pool; a kitchen/dining room upgrade.
Once you have a clear purpose for the addition, you need to consider your budget. There are ways to add space to your home that can fit almost any budget, but try to determine how much you would be comfortable spending, looking at both available funds and possible home loans. Our clients often use a lending source to help build their dreams.
Finally, consider a timeline. Give yourself a specific amount of time to complete your preparation steps, then allow a couple of months (depending on the size of the addition) to engage your contractor and get the work done. Good contractors may have a wait list so you may want to reach out to a contractor early in your preparation process.
Now look around your house and think of some creative options. Most people think just about building out, but consider looking up; there are vertical options, as well. You might be able to expand into the attic, add dormers to the second story, or even add a second story over your garage.
You could also repurpose underutilized existing space without affecting the exterior of your home: expand out into the garage; enclose a porch; use dead space behind existing walls or other unused storage space; and of course, renovate the basement.
The kind of addition you choose will have to be consistent with the zoning in your area. Check with your municipality, or contact us. We know or can easily find out what can and cannot be done in most towns, boroughs, and townships throughout the southeastern PA region.
Types of additions
Below is a short list of some of the many home renovations we’ve worked on for clients. A single addition can incorporate several of these ideas:
- Master bedroom
- Master bathroom
- Kitchen expansion
- Breakfast nook
- Sunroom (3-season or 4-season)
- Living room, dining room
- In-law suite
- Playroom/entertainment room
- Dressing room & downstairs shower for pool
- Home office
- Enclosed porch
- Finished attic
- Finished basement
- Garage renovation – either for more living space or for more cars or workshop
- Bump out walls – interior or exterior
- Second story over part or all of the house
Design and build
Now comes the fun part. Before you approach a designer, look through magazines and websites to get some ideas of what particulars you would like your addition to include. The tough part about this is that these homes have all been furnished by professional interior designers. If you see a living room design you love, make sure it’s not the furniture and décor you’re falling in love with. Think of the room bare; do you like the shape and size of the room? Where are the windows placed? light fixtures? closets, counters, etc.? If planning several rooms, how are they connected – hallway, pocket doors, open space?
At M&K, we have our own designers who can help you fine-tune and complete your plans for your addition. We do not recommend using an independent designer, for several reasons. First, there is a significant additional expense for designing the project. In addition, each time the designer changes the design or talks to your contractors, there is an added expense. Finally, independent designers don’t always consider the best or easiest way to build something, causing you additional time and expense. Our designers work with our contractors as a team, designing your addition so that it will be built to the highest standards of craftsmanship within budget and on time.
Hiring an experienced general contractor means your project is expertly coordinated from the design stage to the finishing touches. Call M&K Renovations today at (610) 353-2895 to give you the peace of mind that your dream project will be completed to your absolute satisfaction and delight.